23 Aug 2018
THAILAND: SEZ Partnership with ASEAN Neighbours Seen as Way to Duck EU Import Tariffs
The country has announced plans to scrap its domestic Special Economic Zone (SEZ) programme in favour of jointly developing such facilities beyond its borders with its less-developed neighbours – most notably Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Such an arrangement would see the exports sourced from these sites qualify for duty-free access to the huge European Union market under the terms of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme.
With no firm deadline for this shift in strategy yet announced, it is expected that it will be preceded by a massive state-sponsored overhaul of the transport infrastructure in the country’s less-developed border provinces. This will be an essential prerequisite given the expected surge in the volume of cross-border traffic.